Educational Technology Research and Development

, Volume 55, Issue 5, pp 479–497 | Cite as

Towards a useful classification of learning objects

Development Article


The learning object remains an ill-defined concept, despite numerous and extensive discussion in the literature. This paper attempts to address this problem by providing a classification that potentially brings together various perspectives of what a learning object may be. Six unique types of learning objects are proposed and discussed: presentation, practice, simulation, conceptual models, information and contextual representation objects. The common characteristics of each are synthesized in a proposal that a learning object is best described as a representation designed to afford uses in different educational contexts. The classification of learning objects proposed could be useful as a framework for designers of digital resources and for those engaged in use of these resources in educational contexts.


Learning object Technology integration Design Classification Representations Presentation object Practice object Simulation object Conceptual model object Information object Contextual representation object 


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Copyright information

© Association of Eductional Communications and Technology 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina

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